Embracing natural beauty: Asian makeup transformation Part II

If you wanted to feel a little special; what would you do? Wearing makeup is a good start, but how about spicing things up?

The first look I did on Yileen was rather subtle and implicit, which is a precise reflection of her usual girl-next-door image.  I then decided to do something really different, to bring out her glamour and sultriness as a mature woman. The end result was breath taking as she just looked like a movie star! She later told me that on the way home after the shoot, she bumped onto few good friends, and they didn't even recognize her :)


The two different looks I did on Yileen. Photos were taken  exactly under the same light settings and were 100% UNRETOUCHED to honestly reflect the makeup. Photos by Geoff Jones

Key points to achieve this sultry look:

1.      Base:

I didn't add any extra foundation or concealer on Yileen as her skin already looked flawless. I just lightly powdered it.

2.      Contouring:

I slightly blended a cool toned brown contouring powder below her cheekbone and along the jaw line, to make her face shape more sculptured. This was also done on the side of her nose and eye socket.

3.      Complexion:

I enhanced her complexion with a peachy-orange cream blush, blended it seamlessly into the contouring and highlight.

4.      Eyes:

Eyes are definitely the focus of the whole look. Instead of bright contrasting colours, I prefer using similar colours with different tones (cooler or warmer), intensities (darker or lighter) and finishes (shimmery or matte) to sculpture the eyes with careful blending. On top of the eye makeup from the first look, I heavily lined Yileen’s upper lid all the way using a black pencil liner, and blend the liner up and out using a matte dark brown, from the out corner of the 1/3 eye length to the brown bone. The same colour was also used to slightly darken the front 1/3 of the eye and along the lower lash line. A golden shimmery brown was lightly placed in the middle of the upper lid and inner corner to enhance the dimensions. A black eye kohl pencil was used to line the lower waterline.  I then added a pair of fake lash to further dramatize the eye.

5.      Brows:

I didn't make any change at all.

6.      Lips:

Matching blush and lip tones always give a more sophisticated and chic look in my opinion. I used a rather light nude peachy colour here, as I didn't want her lips to compete with her eyes. Rule of thumb for me? Dark eyes and light lips. Vice versa.

Finishing touch? Put on a smile and feel all glamorous. Lights, camera, action!!


Photos by Geoff Jones. Makeup/hair/styling by me.

Just something about Yileen that you might find easy to relate to:

 Tell us something about yourself.

I’m Malaysian and am currently doing a PhD in Plant Science at ANU. I grew up being a bit of a geek slash tomboy. In a nutshell, I read a lot and love music – electropop, trance, ballads, pretty much anything with a good beat and rhythm to it, oh and I also have a very soft spot for guitarists!

What’s the definition of beauty to you?

I would associate the word “beauty” with anything that is aesthetically pleasing to look at; but if I had to make it more specific, I think people with elegance and subtlety (think geishas or ballet dancers!) especially beautiful.

What’s your beauty philosophy and daily regime?

I think health has got a lot to do with beauty. I believe that we are what we eat, so I try my best to look after myself well and have lots of fruits. It is always a struggle to stay away from alcohol and caffeine, but I make sure I've got on sunscreen every day, especially here in Australia where the sun is a lot harsher than in Malaysia. I've got extremely sensitive skin, and so I use as little products as I can. My regime is to simply wash my face with water and then moisturize on a daily basis. I have recently started exfoliating with lemon and honey twice a week, which has worked wonderfully well for me compared to any other products I have tried.

What’s your thought about makeup for women?

A lot of things we do in life are based around trying to be better, or to look better. I hate to come across as shallow, but physical appearance plays a big part in a woman’s life. Making up is a great way to enhance our natural features and to compliment different looks and styles. Makeup can also sometimes be an extension of our attitude and mood, and let’s admit it -- making up is fun! I am proud to say that makeup is a privilege that women have always had. Although I think the men are now starting to pick up on that, and so makeup isn’t really a girly thing anymore!

Do you wear makeup? When do you wear it? How? What’s your ideal makeup?

I had a terribly awful allergic reaction back in high school, so I have stayed away from putting anything on my face unless it was absolutely necessary. I have been brave enough to use makeup over the years, but only when the occasion calls for it. I try to keep it as simple as possible and stick to concealers, foundations, eyeliners and mascara, nothing more than necessary, really. I am years behind when it comes to experimenting with makeup, so I haven’t really struck my “ideal” look yet, but I’d say it would be a nude or clean look to compliment my current wardrobe.

Tell us something about the two makeup looks Mary has done for you.

The ‘girl-next-door’ look that Mary first worked on was such an eye-opener for me, as she had graciously taken the time to share a few tips on how to accentuate my features and yet keep it simple. I especially loved the ‘sultry’ look that she did next and it would definitely be something I can use for a romantic night out. It was amazing to see Mary work to accomplish these two looks with so little effort and so much passion! I am naturally shy in front of the camera, but both looks had made me feel confident enough to strike a few poses for Geoff!

Your friendly makeup artist,


Special thanks to my super-talented and supportive husband Geoff (Check his photography at www.threevisual.com.au) to document the transformation and capture the beauty of Yileen! 

Copyright © 2013 Mary Li Makeup artist, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Nothing within this post, including text or images may be reproduced without my expressed permission.

Read Part I of this transformation at: http://marylimakeup.com/embracing-and-transforming-beauty-and/